Myers continues torrid stretch as team wins title

Submitted photo by Mandy Boltz: Mariah Myers of Fort Dodge ropes a hit during a recent Iowa Premier 14U travel softball game at the national championships in Tennessee.

A few days after the Class 5A state championship game, Fort Dodge first team all-state softball player Mariah Myers wasn’t resting.

She was boarding a plane to Tennessee, where her Iowa Premier Fastpitch 14U squad had its sights set on finishing what it started in the spring and taking a championship at the Alliance Fastpitch Open Nationals tournament.

With Myers putting up gaudy numbers at the plate yet again, the team — coached by former Iowa Hawkeye football player Carlos James — secured the title with a pair of victories over Georgia Impact in the final round.

Myers, a sophomore-to-be at FDSH, batted .611 with four home runs, 22 hits and 20 RBI at the elite event, which attracted the country’s top talent to Chattanooga, Tenn. Premier went 10-2 overall, avenging a 3-2 loss to Georgia Impact with its back against the wall by sweeping the finals, 6-2 and 6-4.

“Winning the tournament meant a lot to both me and the team,” said Myers, who ranked first among all players at the AFON tourney in hits, homers and RBI and second in slugging percentage. “The work we put in by ourselves, then being able to come together and grind out wins before double dipping (against) one of the better teams in the country from Georgia takes a lot.

Submitted photo by Mandy Boltz: The Iowa Premier 14U James softball team, which includes Fort Dodge’s Mariah Myers (back right), displays their AFON championship rings in Tennessee.

“I’m proud of how hard we worked for each other that week to reach the end. Representing Fort Dodge and Iowa means a lot to me, especially after a really great season of high school softball (with the Dodgers).”

There were 42 teams in the field for the 14U bracket at nationals. Georgia Impact boasted the top-rated pitcher in the country.

Premier 14U James went 59-11 overall in 2022, but often competed with an incomplete lineup as Myers and a handful of her teammates suited up for their respective schools during the summer months. Myers batted .476 for FDSH with 18 doubles, nine home runs and 37 RBI in her varsity schedule this season as the Dodgers went 37-7 overall and reached the 5A championship round for the third consecutive year.

Myers was Premier’s first baseman, shortstop, third baseman and catcher, depending on the game. This fall, she will play varsity volleyball again for the Dodgers while also joining a 16U Premier squad as it tours the country. The first tournament will be in Arizona during the first week of September.


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